Back in June, I wrote about the opening of the brand new marhaba Lounge in Terminal 3 of Singapore Changi Airport. This airport lounge is open 24-hours a day and it features seating for over 130 guests with different seating configurations. As you may already know, major renovation works have been planned for all the Singapore Airlines lounges in Changi Airport - passengers who used to have access to the SilverKris Lounge (Business Class) will now utilise the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge while passengers with KrisFlyer Elite Gold or Star Alliance Gold will now be able to utilise the marhaba Lounge.
The brand new marhaba Lounge is located away from the rest of the airport lounges and the easiest way to get to it is to first locate the massive Louis Vuitton store after immigration. There is an escalator located near the store and you will see the entrance to the marhaba Lounge immediately on the left once you step off. There are plenty of seats located throughout the lounge and they are placed reasonably far apart so I do not expect this place to be incredibly busy and noisy even at full capacity. However, with this lounge functioning as a temporary KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, I would expect this to change drastically (I will have to go back to check it out at some point).
Upon entering the lounge, will notice that there are bar stools that look out to the tarmac and these are especially great for solo travellers since each seat come with a charging point in front. Obviously these are also great for aviation geeks who would like to snap a few pictures while they are in the lounge but it does come with a slight caveat.
The view from this area is slightly obstructed (even more so when you are sitting down on one of the high chairs) so you might have to get really low (and probably in an awkward position) in order to take a good picture.
The marhaba Lounge looks modern, clean and airy - the abundance of natural light from the side certainly helps to create a greater sense of space. You will notice that most seats are placed by the window (even though there are more on the inside as well) so that is definitely a nice change from the typical lounge that rarely sees any natural daylight. To the other side of the walkway is where you will find a selection of food and beverages.
As you would expect, coffee, tea and drinks are all complimentary here from the self-service area. There is also a decent spirit collection on the side (non-premium labels) which is a nice change from the usual contract lounge. Chilled beverages can also be found in the fridge on the side and if you are craving for something healthy or light, there is a small selection of salads and sandwiches in the chilled drawers.
There was a fairly decent selection of hot food items when I visited and while I did appreciate the variety of items (especially since this is not an airline lounge so it would be unreasonable to compare it to say The Private Room or The Qantas Lounge), I did find the taste and quality to be mediocre at best. If you have a Priority Pass membership and would like to get some food, I would definitely recommend heading down to TGM in Terminal 2 instead for a decent meal. Otherwise, there are plenty of food options in Changi Airport and there is very little reason why you should eat this unless you are terribly rushed for time. I like the space and the facilities but not so much the food.
Reading materials are also provided in the lounge so you can choose to browse through the newspaper or from a selection of magazines while you are there. I do like how there are different seating arrangements throughout so you can progress from the ‘dining area’ to the ‘lounge area’ which seems more suitable for solo travellers looking to get some work done.
Towards the other side of the marhaba Lounge is where you will find not one, but two communal tables (complete with USB ports and universal charging outlets) that you can work from. Since the lounge is not exactly enclosed, there is a possibility where noise becomes a problem if the area outside gets busy. However, considering how the marhaba Lounge is part of the Priority Pass network and also going to be the KrisFlyer Gold Lounge, I believe that the noise concerns should be reversed.
One thing that I really do like about the marhaba Lounge is the abundance of power outlets and USB charging ports. The SilverKris Lounge (Terminal 3) for example is exceedingly weak in this aspect - it is always difficult to find a place to charge your devices if you are there during a busy period (and it is almost always busy).
The marhaba Lounge is definitely a nice addition to the growing list of airport lounges in Singapore Changi Airport. There are various ways to gain access to airport lounges in Singapore if you hold the right credit card(s) so there is very little reason to think that they are out of reach (especially contract lounges!). While I will not personally make a detour just to check out the marhaba Lounge, it was a nice place for me to spend bit of time before making my way to the boarding gate.